If your small business hasn’t quite figured out how to get organized during the regular shopping season, what’s to become of you on Small Business Saturday? Last year, over 100 million people patronized their local businesses and shopped small on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and even bigger numbers are expected this year.
When everyone is beginning to emerge from their tryptophan and Black Friday-induced food/shopping comas, will your small business be ready?
Chances are your small business has a website, blog, Facebook page, or some sort of Internet presence by which you interact with current and potential customers. Right? Of course right. As students and teachers head back to school this fall, your small business can cash in on that contagious learning vibe sweeping the nation. People want to learn stuff. They want to know things, and they want to know how to do things. But raw knowledge in itself isn’t enough. The data, service, or help you provide as a would-be teacher must meet your customer’s ultimate life goals: financial stability, personal security, happiness. You know, the big stuff.
So how can your sole proprietorship or small business get organized in a way that helps your customers learn? Simple. This month, organize your own blog, website or social media platform into a teacher-student forum, with you as the instructor.
“But I’m not a teacher! What would I talk about? Where would I start?”
Calm yourself, Iago. (Comment below if you get that reference). You are a teacher, my friend. You’re a small business owner! You can choose to teach your customers insider tips and tricks from your industry, or you can choose to help them get organized enough to start their own small business. If, for example, you run a beauty shop or a salon, you could create a series of ten video lessons showing clients how to perfect that ever-elusive perfect up-do. Or, you could share your personal story about how you opened your salon, how you applied for a small business loan, the mistakes you’ve made along the way, and the things you feel people should avoid. You may not feel like you know much, especially if you’re just starting out. But to the person who has no clue where to start, let alone how to get organized enough to get started, you’re a stone cold genius.
Incorporate your lessons – whether written or video – into as many platforms as possible. Post your new videos on your Facebook page, with a link to your website to unlock the rest of the series. Better yet, create a gated Facebook page that only allows users who’ve Liked you to access your awesomeness. Promise new followers a free lesson, just for following you on Twitter, and make sure to follow them back and let them know each time you post a new lecture.
If you’re in doubt about which direction to take, try this tip to get organized: write down your two favorite teaching options on two separate pieces of paper, or in two separate Word documents. You might write something like “Teach clients how to save money on pet supplies” or “Teach clients how to start their own dog walking business.” Crumple up the pieces of paper and throw them on the floor. (This option is not recommended if you chose to use your computer instead of paper). Pick up one piece of paper, and that becomes your curriculum for the entire teaching series.
“But wait! I don’t want to do the one I picked up. I want to do the other one!”
Ah ha! Well, well, well, now you know! Once you get organized, it’s a cinch to help others do so. Remember, your lessons don’t need to cater to experts when your first starting out as a teacher in your given field. Write your blogs or create your videos for an audience of beginners. When you do, you’ll start to realize how much you actually know!
Are you one of our favorite users who has recommended Shoeboxed to your friends? If so, have you been checking your mailbox daily, anxiously awaiting your snazzy new Shoeboxed t-shirt to arrive?
Well sleep soundly tonight, they’re on the way!
While we admit that we’ve gotten pretty good at taking the work out of paperwork, all of this focus on your receipts and business cards resulted in a slight delay filling shirt orders. So this Saturday we put in a few extra hours carefully folding and packing up several hundred. The entire batch of shirts was then hand delivered to the post office this morning and should be arriving in your mailbox sometime this week!
We apologize for the slight delay but hope that you enjoy being organized in your new Shoeboxed tee. Wear it proudly!